Hyperloop One, one of two companies working to make Elon Musk’s dream of magnetic tube travel a reality, has a lot of work to do to before it realizes any of its ambitious plans.
But the company is moving quickly, having successfully tested its propulsion system for the first time last month, it is now building a test track that would more closely resemble the much-dreamed-about Hyperloop.
The first test track will be at least a mile long, meaning Hyperloop One has already developed technology to make an otherwise languorous process a little less lengthy. The “tube deformer,” introduced to the world writ large in an Instagram video, is a specialty machine designed to make the assembly of hyperloop tubes easier and more affordable.
“It enables us to reshape the tube ends so we can more easily weld them together,” the company explained on Instagram.
As Elon Musk is learning in the production of more than a quarter million Teslas, the secret to affordable and practical technology often lies behind the scenes. Hyperloop technology has already been subject to criticism that its cost will be prohibitively high, and no municipality will be able to justify the expenditure to shave a couple of hours off commutes for its wealthiest workers.
Machines like the tube-deformer aim to save time and money that may help convince policy makers that the technology is not just futuristic but practical too.